Threes and defense key to Maroon men's basketball 62-52 win at Brandeis

Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith

WALTHAM, Mass. – The University of Chicago men's basketball team led wire-to-wire thanks to three-pointers and stout defense in a 62-52 victory over Brandeis University on Sunday.

The win improved the Maroons to 17-7 (8-5 UAA) while dropping the Judges to 9-15 (3-10 UAA).

Sunday morning's low-scoring affair mirrored the last meeting between the two teams when UChicago topped Brandeis 65-50 on Jan. 24. The Maroons connected on 40 percent of their attempted threes, hitting 10 of 25 in the game. It was the seventh time this year that the team has made at least 10 from long distance.

Senior guard Jordan Smith paced the scoring with 17 points, followed by senior forward Alex Voss (11) and sophomore forward Collin Barthel (10). Barthel also snagged a game-high nine rebounds and handed out four assists. Brandeis sophomore Jordan Cooper (20) and freshman Ian Roach (15) were the point leaders for the home team.

UChicago captured the advantage with Voss' three-pointer 70 seconds into the game, and the visitors did not let go of the lead for the rest of the way. A Smith three stretched the Maroon lead to 8-2, and shortly afterwards, sophomore Jake Fenlon hit a pair of treys to give them an ironclad grip on the game at 18-4.

Jumpers from beyond the arc kept falling for the visitors as they sank 8 of 15 in the first half. Brandeis clawed its way back into the game, as Cooper cut the lead to four at 21-17 with 7:55 remaining until the break. Then Roach brought the home team within one at 28-27 at the 5:05 mark. Voss, Smith and Fenlon all hit treys over the final five minutes of the half to give the Maroons a 39-30 lead at halftime. The same trio of Voss (10), Smith (9), and Fenlon (9) led the Maroons in first-half scoring while Barthel contributed three dimes and four boards.

Junior guard Tyler Howard and Barthel got the second half scoring started for the visitors with two quick buckets to stretch the lead to 13. With the score at 50-39 and 14 minutes left in the action, it looked as though the Maroons were getting ready to put the game out of reach. However, at that point, the Judges exploded for an 11-2 run, pulling within two at 52-50. That is as close UChicago would let Brandeis get through, as the visitors countered with a game-closing 10-2 streak of their own. The Judges were held to two points scored over the final eight-and-a-half minutes of game time.

The Maroons (48 percent) outshot the Judges (39 percent) from the field, while also triumphing in rebounds (34-24), second-chance points (16-7), assists (16-14), and points in the paint (24-10). Brandeis meanwhile took the turnover battle (8 versus 14), bench points (25-14) and points off turnovers (13-9).

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 48.0 percent (24-50)
Three-point Percentage – 40.0 percent (10-25)
Free-throw Percentage – 44.4 percent (4-9)
Jordan Smith (Guard, Sr.) – 17 points, 3 rebounds
Alex Voss (Forward, Sr.) – 11 points, 6 rebounds
Collin Barthel (Forward, So.) – 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists

Brandeis Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 39.3 percent (22-56)
Three-point Percentage – 27.8 percent (5-18)
Free-throw Percentage – 75.0 percent (3-4)
Jordan Cooper – 20 points, 3 rebounds
Ian Roach – 15 points

NEXT GAME:

  • Saturday, February 27 – Washington University-St. Louis at UChicago, 3 PM